Annulment of PBC ruling filed declaring Mayaen as governor

>> Monday, June 13, 2016

Case filed to stop assumption to office 
By Gina Dizon

BONTOC, Mountain Province – A petition was filed last week with the Commission on Elections for annulment of proceedings of the proclamation declaring Kathy Jyll  Mayaen-Luis  as  governor of Mountain Province by the Provincial Board of Canvassers.
Petitioner and registered voter Thomas Tawagen said this was in support to a petition filed by the Comelec law department annulling the proclamation of  Mayaen-Luis  as governor.  
In said petition filed at the Comelec June 7,  Tawagen claimed  proceedings proclaiming  Mayaen –Luis  was  invalid because  her certificate of  candidacy was denied by Comelec.
 Comelec denied the certificate of candidacy of Mayaen-Luis as substitute –candidate for her father, the late governor  Leonard  Mayaen who died  March 31,2016 before the May 9 elections.
Said COC was admitted by Provincial  Election Supervisor  Elenita Tabangin -Capuyan  May 5 but was denied by  Comelec  May 7. 
Mayaen-Luis was proclaimed night of May 10,2016 by the PBC headed by Tabangin-Capuyan.
Comelec regional director EderlinoTabilas earlier said in Baguio the proclamation of Mayaen-Luis stands unless the Comelec central office makes a ruling on the matter.
 The PBC in their certificate of canvass of votes and proclamation of winning candidate of  Provincial governor  proclaimed Leonard Mayaen who garnered  60,664 votes as winning  candidate May 11 with no inserted statement  citing  Mayaen-Luis  as the substitute candidate.  
The same PBC proclaimed  Mayaen-Luis  as governor by raising her  hand during the proclamation proceedings May 10. 
Meantime, a petition for quo warranto  was filed by  Tawagen preventing the assumption of  Mayaen-Luis  as  governor of Mountain Province  based on said  Comelec decision citing Section 77 of the Omnibus Election Code allowing substitution  of a candidate belonging to a member of  a political p arty where a member-candidate  died, incapacitated or resigned.
Leonard Mayaen filed his candidacy for governor of Mountain Province as an independent  candidate.
Section 19 of  Comelec  Resolution  9984 provides that  no substitution is allowed for an  independent candidate.
The younger  Mayaen  was  endorsed by the Mayaen clan to run as substitute-candidate  in place of her deceased  father the late governor Leonard Mayaen.
Provincial folks had urged the Comelec ruling and a categorical and public announcement whether Kathy Jill Mayaen-Luis can assume office by June 30 as provincial governor to prevent confusion since re-electionist Vice Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan assumed office as governor when then Gov. Leonard Mayaen died a few weeks before the May elections.
They called for transfer of  Tabangin-Capuyan for proclaiming Mayaen-Luis as provincial governor. 
Lacwasan earlier filed a petition with the Comelec questioning the act of the PBC in proclaiming Mayaen-Luis.
Legal quarters said the electoral body could rule on the matter being a constitutional body but Tabangin-Capuyan, who is Comelec provincial chief said the issue could reach the Supreme Court.
With this, the provincial government created a transition team to prepare and ensure smooth turn-over of local governance to newly-elected provincial officials on June 30.
Comelec chairman Andres Bautista earlier said special elections for the gubernatorial post of Mountain Province would be scheduled after the May elections even as groups called for the transfer of Tabangin-Capuyan.
In a five-page complaint, Salvador Liked of Bauko town also filed charges of grave abuse of authority and acts prejudicial to the best interest of the service against Tabangin-Capuyan, provincial prosecutor Golda Bagawi and schools division superintendent Gloria Buya-ao.
The respondents said they proclaimed Mayaen because there was no aggrieved party.  
The older Mayaen, whose name remained in the official ballots, got 60,684 votes.    
Liked said the resolution issued by the Comelec May 7 denied Mayaen’s petition. 
 “The illegal acts of the respondents… constitute a gross disregard of the highest order of morality in the civil service which is also punishable under provisions of RA 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees,” the complaint stated.
At press time, Cordillera assistant regional Comelec director Vanessa Rongcal said in Baguio they have yet to receive communications from their main office on whether Mayaen-Luis could sit as provincial governor by June 30 considering the Comelec en banc earlier decided she could not run as provincial governor.

She said they have yet to wait for such communication before they can act on the matter.


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